Kortel Karma II (PAST MODEL)

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Model Status: Past model

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The Karma II has been designed by Kortel to be used as a main harness for intensive use, completely adapted to the pilot’s morphology in any position. The V system is easier to use and much more progressive, greatly improving the precision of the feedback to the pilot. By improving the transition from an upright to a seated position we avoid the need for the pilot to use his hands to get correctly seated in the harness. The Karma II incorporates a permanent airbag system, called the Krash Box. As soon as the harness is unpacked the protector is effective thanks to a foam structure which gives the protector its shape and volume.

Sizes & pilot height guide


Pilot height


under 162cm
S 162-171cm
M 170-185cm
L 184-195cm
XL over 195cm


The Karma II is delivered with:

  • 2 step speed bar
  • Reserve parachute handle
  • Integrated reserve parachute risers
  • Karbon Seat plate
  • Stainless steel quick links 


  • Kortel Foot Stirrup for Karma II and Kuik II
  • Kortel Kockpit Safe (flight deck for instruments)
  • Kortel Woodplate - Standard

Karma II - fly serene

The Karma II was designed to respond to pilot feedback concerning the original Karma harness, namely that the weight and bulk were too high. The Karma II meets these demands without sacrificing safety, quite the contrary.

The simple solution to reduce the volume in the bag is to switch to an airbag style back protector. Unfortunately, airbags are not effective during take-off. The Karma II is therefore equipped with a permanent airbag, the Krashbox. The Krashbox incorporates a foam module which gives the protector its shape and volume ensuring the effectiveness of the airbag right out of the bag. In fact the Karma II has been LTF certified even without pre-inflation!

Great efforts have been made to reduce the weight of the Karma II without compromising strength, using new materials such as Dyneema straps. But we also went beyond the requirements of the certification standards by maintaining a constant thickness of the airbag in the back, allowing it to pass the same certification in the case of a flat-back impact, being inflated in this case by the side air intake scoop. 

Particular attention was paid to the ergonomic aspect of the design of the Karma II in order to achieve perfect contact with the back whilst avoiding too much rigidity in the structure. The result is a harness with a very high level of comfort that perfectly follows the pilot’s movements but which also remains lightweight. 

The Karma II uses the well-known two point “V” clip in architecture used on the Karma and Kamasutra II, which acts as a built-in non-forgettable security system and also incorporates high amplitude roll damping which is adjustable in flight. But we have further improved the system by making it more progressive. The result is greater comfort and precision in turns.


  • Twice as compact as the original Karma.
  • All adjustments are accessible and adjustable in flight. 
  • Roll damping independent of chest strap setting and adjustable in flight. 
  • Independent pocket for the bag and a radio in the back pocket. 
  • Two external side pockets. 
  • Direct access from the back pocket to the shoulder for a drinks delivery tube and/or radio microphone cable. 
  • Lateral air intake scoop retractable to avoid damage during transport. 


  • Security parachute handle: compensates to a certain extent an incorrect placement of the reserve parachute. 
  • Parachute positioned under the thighs, handle on the right but deployment by the left hand possible if necessary. 
  • Krashbox 29cm LTF certified even without pre-inflation. 
  • Upper airbag effective even in the case of a flat-back impact. 
  • Certification: EN 1651 & 12491

Harness weights

Harness weights (kg)






Harness only






Krashbox foam






Carbon seat plate






Quick links






Speed bar






Total weight carbon seat plate






For use as a mountain harness it is possible to remove the foam structure and reduce the weight by a further 400g. The harness will thus behave like a classic airbag harness, the back protector being effective only after take-off. Don’t forget to reinstall the Krashbox for normal use!

Kortel Karma II design concept

When designing the Karma II we thought carefully about acheiving the ideal balance between four main criteria: Comfort; Active Security; Passive Security; and Weight Reduction:

1. Comfort

The comfort of a harness depends directly on the way in which the pilot’s mass is supported by the material of the harness itself. The mass must be optimally distributed, with no zones of discomfort, in a straight seated position as well as inclined in turns. Up to 60% of a cross country pilot’s flight time is spent in thermals and for a leisure pilot flying locally the amount of time spent thermalling can reach 80%. It is clear that the pressure points are very different in these two positions and that the comfort of a harness should also be judged in a thermalling position.

Kortel Karma II | pressure sat inclined

Thus the level of comfort provided by the lateral support should be consistent with that found in a straight seated position. So we have been particularly careful to ensure that the harness is completely adapted to the pilot’s morphology in any position . The level of comfort also depends on the level of roll damping and the capacity of the harness to filter certain movements.

Two systems exist:

Kortel Karma II | ABS v V

  • The two-buckle V clip-in system used in the Karma I, which is adjustable in-flight, has the advantage of providing a very high level of damping which is independent of the waist strap setting. The inconvenience of this system is that it is not very progressive, it has a very on/off effect.
  • ABS has the advantage of being very progressive but is directly dependant on the waist strap setting (when stability is increased the risk of a riser twist is also increased) and the maximum level of damping is quite low compared with that of the V system.

For the Karma II we have succeeded in making the V system much more progressive. This makes the system easier to use and renders piloting in turns more progressive thus greatly improving the precision of the feedback to the pilot.

2. Active Security

Another aspect of the design effort concentrated on the ease of the transition from an upright to a seated position after take-off. The placement of the main strap (which acts as the centre of rotation for the transition to a seated position) was also improved as well as the shape of the seat board.

By improving the transition from an upright to a seated position we avoid the need for the pilot to use his hands to get correctly seated in the harness. But just as importantly in the case of an in-flight incident the pilot will also be able to assume an upright position more easily in order to absorb the shock of a forced landing with his legs. (Legs are still a paraglider pilot’s best back protector!)

The reserve parachute pocket has also been redesigned, all types of reserve parachute, old or modern, compact or bulky, can be installed without risk of the parachute moving around in the pocket.

The reserve parachute handle still allows the reserve pocket to be opened even if the pod is installed inverted, and can now be operated by the left hand if the right hand becomes immobilized (a twist in the risers trapping the wrist or a tangle resulting from a collision etc.).

3. Passive Security

The Karma II is designed to be used as a main harness for intensive use.

In order to reduce the volume an airbag seemed to be the best solution. However an ordinary airbag has the disadvantage of providing little or no protection during the take-off phase. So we worked on a permanent airbag system, the Krash Box. As soon as the harness is unpacked the protector is effective thanks to a foam structure which gives the protector its shape and volume.

The shape of the side walls has been designed to optimize back protection. An airbag only starts to function when its internal pressure increases which only happens once the side walls have rounded out.

So for the same thickness an airbag with rounded side walls will be more efficient than an airbag with straight side walls. What’s more the Krash Box will, up to a certain point, limit the sideways displacement of the airbag in the case of a shock in a non-vertical axis. The Karma II equipped with its Krash Box satisfies the criteria of the LTF standard without having to be inflated. The second phase of inflation which occurs via the side air intake leads to a further increase in the protector’s performance. However the certification crash test has led to certain pernicious developments recently.

As the crash test protocol only tests the case of a direct vertical impact there are more and more back protectors on the market that are designed specifically to pass the certification but which do not take into account the behavior of the pilot and the harness during a real crash. These protectors are thus of the most basic design positioned at the point of impact but do not protect the pilot’s back at all.

We have chosen to give the Karma II back protector a maximum of volume by incorporating into the Krash Box an inflated segment which specifically protects the back. Once the protector is inflated the harness satisfies the LTF standard even in a horizontal position.

However a reversible backpack-airbag solution has not been used. This option seems to us to be incompatible with a harness designed for intensive use. In the backpack mode the back protector can be damaged by the combined effects of friction, dust and UV. There is thus a risk that the airbag could fail in the case of a real crash because of premature wear.

4. Weight Reduction

Reducing the weight of the harness was also an objective. This was achieved in part by replacing the large mousse bag, which weighed nearly 1kg, by the Krash Box. But significant reductions were also made by using new stronger lighter materials:

  • Dyneema straps, three times lighter than the classic polyester straps.
  • High performance EVA foam with closed cells, in the place of traditional foam.
  • An improved understanding of the zones under constraint leading to an optimization of the placement of different materials allowing the weight of certain parts of the harness to be reduced without compromising its global durability.


More Information
Condition New
Model Status Past model